Confidentiality/Release of Information
Student Disability Services (SDS) strives to treat all personal information with the strictest confidentiality. We respect the privacy of individuals and will err in favor of confidentiality whenever possible. It is the policy of the office to hold confidential all communications, observations, and information made by and/or between students, faculty, and staff whenever possible.
However, information that SDS keeps about students are considered educational records and are governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99). FERPA is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student's education records. As a result, SDS may release information to University officials on a "need to know" basis. The need to know must be based on compelling and legitimate educational reasons for the information disclosure. Generally speaking, faculty and staff do not need to know the student's diagnosis. University officials merely need to know that SDS verified the disability and the student's right to reasonable accommodations. Likewise, faculty and staff (outside SDS) do not have direct access to student files. An "Authorization for Release of Information" form shall be obtained from the student (with their consent) to release confidential information to persons or entities outside of the University. This includes parents, family members, and significant others.
In some instances, ethical guidelines may require us to release confidential information without your consent: (1) when there is imminent (immediate) danger to yourself or others; (2) when we learn that a child, disabled adult, or elderly adult has been abused or neglected; (3) when we are ordered to release information to a court of law; (4) when you disclose that an individual with whom you received counseling in the State of Texas has behaved in a sexually inappropriate manner towards you (your identity may remain anonymous); and (5) in some cases (but not all), if you are a minor (under 18), your parents or legal guardian must give consent and may access your records.
Please note that all SDS staff members (students and professionals) are required to abide by this confidentiality policy and any breach of this policy will result in immediate disciplinary action with the employee.
Requesting Your Records
To request a copy of all or part of your disability record from Student Disability Services at UTSA, please follow the procedures outlined below:
Include the following information in your written request:
Your name, Banner ID number, date of birth and contact information
Specifically state whether you want
Entire SDS file
Part of SDS file (i.e. assessments, accommodations letters)
Student service records covered by Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) are made available to you within 30 days of the written request.
Note: records for students with disabilities are maintained in the SDS office until 5 years after the student’s last semester of enrollment.
The University of Texas at San Antonio has adopted an internal grievance procedure providing for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action prohibited by the U.S. Department of Justice regulations implementing Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Title II states, in part, that "no otherwise qualified disabled individual shall, solely by reason of such disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination" in programs or activities sponsored by a public entity.
Students registered with Student Disability Services who have complaints about any service or accommodation requests in Student Disability Services or in receiving their accommodations from faculty or staff should make every attempt to resolve their concerns utilizing the services within Student Disability Services. If these attempts do not result in a satisfactory resolution of the problem, students may file a formal grievance by following the grievance procedures found at this web site: www.utsa.edu/hop/chapter9/9-2.html
Student Code of Conduct
Student Disability Services (SDS) is a professional environment that provides services and accommodations for students with disabilities at The University of Texas at San Antonio. In order to best serve our students, we expect everyone to be courteous and appropriate to one another and to SDS staff. Profanity, aggression (verbal or physical), threats, yelling, slamming doors or items, failing to adhere to academic integrity policies or comply with SDS guidelines, etc. are considered unacceptable due to the disruption of other students and staff in providing services and academic accommodations.
Disruptive and disorderly conduct or failure to comply with the guidelines and expectations of the university’s Code of Student Conduct and SDS may result in contacting The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards or the police. The same general expectations of behavior apply to all students, including those with disabilities. Students registered with SDS must adhere to the policies and guidelines stated in the Code of Student Conduct. These policies apply to academic and non-academic behavior on and off campus. To refer to the Code of Student Conduct, please visit the website of SCCS.
Feel free to discuss any questions, comments, or concerns with your assigned SDS counselor.